Tuesday, December 04, 2018

One Country, Two Languages

Predictably, following Eddie Chu's contentious disqualification from a village election, pro-Beijing forces are now suggesting that he should also be stripped of his LegCo seat. What is interesting about this is not their typically fatuous arguments, but how mainlandization is infiltrating the language of politics in Hong Kong. DAB leader Stalin, sorry Starry, Lee is quoted as saying:
“We wanted the Legislative Council to be more harmonious as there is only around a year left for this term. But there is a new development and we have to discuss it.”
"Harmonious", in this sense, is pure mainland-speak, meaning purged of opposition voices.  In standard English, the correct word for this is "unrepresentative" or "undemocratic".  George Orwell, thou shouldst be living at this hour!

And a postscript: after writing this post, I came across another example of how "harmony" apparently has a different meaning in the mainland - in this case the toleration of threats and violence:
                ‘Preserve family harmony’: Chinese courts give domestic abusers a pass

Friday, November 30, 2018

Elections Hong Kong Style

"Permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have the right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law."
--Basic Law, 1997

"...unless we don't let them."
--Basic Law, 2018 

Good luck, Eddie!

UPDATE - 3 December 2018

Having asked Eddie Chu the same question several times over in different ways in the hope of eliciting an answer he can use as an excuse, the Returning Officer has finally kowtowed to the Liaison Office's wishes by disqualifying Chu - the most popular candidate in any constituency at the last Legislative Council election - from running for the post of village representative.  Unjustified, ridiculous, and legally questionable, but not unexpected in today's political climate, where every promise of genuine autonomy and democracy for Hong Kong is being systematically shredded.  What really irritates me is the way the government insults our intelligence each time it further restricts the limits of allowable political discourse by insisting that:
“There is no question of any political censorship, restriction of the freedom of speech, or deprivation of the right to stand for elections as alleged by some members of the community.”
Do they think we're totally brainless?  Or are they too stupid to realise this is a blatant lie?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Brexit Noir

If you are British, probably the best way not to be driven crazy by the ever more chaotic nonsense of Brexit is to treat the whole sorry saga as a black comedy.  It is, after all, full of delicious ironies, beginning with the fact that then Prime Minister David Cameron originally called the referendum in a bid to unite the Tory Party (how's that been working out for you, Dave?)

But perhaps the finest piece of dark humour to come out of Brexit is this:

The idea that extreme nationalism may deprive the country of its national flag carrier just points up the ridiculousness of the entire isolationist Brexit concept in a globally connected world.  Priceless!

Comrades in Harm

Hong Kong's pan-democrats shoot themselves in the foot - again.

Yeah, that sounds like a good excuse...

Friday, October 12, 2018

From Yes Minister to Spitting Image

When I began this blog, in addition to some serious analysis (which I have sadly little time for these days), my intention was to poke gentle fun at those in public life who deserved a bit of mockery.  Unfortunately these are no longer gentle times.  We have a rabid dog in the White House, a murderous thug in the Kremlin, and a genocidal goon in Zhongnanhai, plus a general resurgence of fascism, a global decline in human rights, and a planet well on its way to unchecked environmental disaster. So though I still label it humour, most of my satire these days is far too serious to be funny - like Trump's response to the Khashoggi killing, which represents a new low even for him (only days after you thought he'd already reached the bottom by mocking a victim of sexual assault after placing her alleged assailant on the highest court in the land).  Hold on tight, things can only get worse from here.